I work in the Youth Wing of a pretty big library. We have have two reference desks: a juvenile/kids’/children’s desk and a young adult/teen desk. Most days the library is open from 9 am to 9 pm, and the children’s desk is staffed by a revolving cast of librarians this entire time. The YA desk is hardly ever staffed by anything other than a sign telling you to go back to the children’s side of the wing. The truth is, our staffing is pretty low with no sign of getting better in the near future. This is sad news, not only for our teen patrons, their caregivers, and their teachers, but also for me (won’t somebody think about me?) because I like YA services almost as much as I like children’s services. I like putting up lots of displays on the YA side to make it look cared-for and important, and to sort of be a stand-in for an actual librarian.
I’m on the Rainbow List for a full term, but I’m taking a little break before next year’s books come rolling in. I love the Rainbow List, but being on it means I have to skip lots of non-LGBTQ-related books. I’m trying to play catch-up on the titles I’ve missed, so I finally decided to take a crack at that Divergent book all the kids are reading.
(If you haven’t read Divergent, you may want to skip the rest of this in case I spoil something.)
OK, I borderline hate this book, but definitely dislike it. It’s got over 300 holds on it in our system and I just don’t know why. Is it because the movie is coming out? I feel like it’s a less clever Hunger Games or The Culling.
The premise of the book just grated on my nerves. I don’t buy the notion that most people aren’t Divergent, as if most of the population falls into some tidy little box. I also cannot stand the love-interest, Four, because he’s such a boring little mansplainer.
But I trudged on through this book like the brave little soldier that I am, and came up with this little booktalk-in-a-box. It’s not in a box! But it’s a ready-made booktalk that I pasted up all over the YA section, especially in prime areas, like next to the sign-up computer. It’s not as good as the presence of a librarian, but hopefully someone will see this flyer and will have some interest in reading the book. Full disclosure: I made this by Frankenstein-ing many pre-existing images together. I’m a librarian, dammit, not an artist.
I know it seems kind of pointless to make one of these for a book that’s already really popular, but I couldn’t put the time that I spent reading this book to waste. Hopefully, I’ll find another YA title that I can create the same sort of thing for. If you have any ideas, send ’em my way.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid